Today, my mind is tough, resilient, empathetic, compassionate, kind, loving, strategic, and wise.
My physical health is a mess. I have my experiences with rape as a child to thank for that.
Every time that I see the headlines panicking about the next health crisis that is out of control I do wonder if they are asking these people whether or not they have suffered trauma.
“Alcoholism in Women”
“Pain pill addiction in everyone”
Remember obesity? Remember that health crisis dominating the headlines?
Obesity causes a lot of health problems.
But, you know what can cause obesity? Abuse. Rape.
As many as 1 in 3 obese women are Survivors of childhood abuse.
Now think about it, how many times have you gone to the doctor and they are discussing diet and exercise while leaving out how you are feeling? (Men, Women & Children)
Survivors, Are you stressed?
Having flashbacks lately?
Memories slipping in between thoughts?
Does anyone ever ask you?
Diet and exercise is fine, but when that stuff gets heavy, all that goes out the ear that it came in. Been back and forth, I know.
And what about the fact that you are doing ALL the diet and exercise tips that roll out daily, but the fact that you are so stressed, means that it is too hard to lose weight anyway?
Your body is holding onto those pounds as if you are trying to steal them.
You don’t go to a therapist because for months you just think you need to stop eating and hot those Jillian Michaels videos.
No more nice trainers for you. You’re on punishment.
Try this “brand name diet”.
Then try that “brand name diet”.
Then drink what Beyonce drank to get in that dress.
Still, got back to the doctor to check my progress and #AllPoundsLeftOnYourBehind
Doctors tend to scold you.
“You aren’t taking this seriously”
“You aren’t working hard enough”
I’ve yet to go to any doctor and be asked whether or not I have experienced trauma. It matters. It has a direct connection to my health.
Yet, I’ve never had a doctor to ask me about this once. Not ever.
Well, when I went shopping and I to go a size up, I went to a therapist.
Good times, but I wasn’t in crisis and the weight gain wasn’t psychological.
So I started seeing every other kind of specialist. It turns out that I have fibromyalgia. A lot of abuse Survivors suffer from this painful condition too.
The topic of healing came up twice this week.
Once by a follower of this blog, Stephanie. She asks the most amazing questions.
Through our online conversation, we agreed that people believe that either you are a mega success, an all healed, all well mighty Survivor or you are not.
And, when you are not people do not listen to you. They see you as broken and damaged.
The second time was through a Twitter chat hosted by Black Women’s Blueprint (#VisioningChat): One participant said that she didn’t think that ALL Survivors heal so much as we learned to cope.
The truth is that most Survivors are mighty every single day.
Sometimes people have to be reminded of that.
Trauma can show up in the body by way of physical illness.
When people seek help for physical illnesses, information should be collected about whether or not they are trauma survivors.
Healing is not a final destination. It is a long and unpredictable journey, but well worth the trip.
Survivors have had positive outcomes with a combination of helping tools such as healing through Faith, alternative methods, therapy, prayer, support groups, self help books, family & friends support, journaling, creative arts etc.
Healing isn’t a destination. It isn’t a place you can get directions to.
WE must be heard every single day, whether we are whimpering or roaring. Everything that we say is information that can be used for healing, coping, prevention and education.
Tonya is a Social Justice Info Expert with over 23 years experience. She holds a BS in Organizational Management & Development. Her cat MiaBelle is her co-writer.
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